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First ever TV debates in 2021 local elections to take place in Kyrgyzstan

First ever TV debates in elections to local councils will take place in Kyrgyzstan. The TEC is to conduct a separate drawing of lots for distribution of airtime. The Central Election Commission (CEC) reported.

This campaign format reportedly provides maximum information about the candidates. Despite the shortcomings in the debate process, citizens are actively watching them. The debates will be held in local elections for the first time.

«Therefore, we need to prepare, perhaps, debates will be held between the leaders of the parties. Discussion of the form of the debates is underway; they will be thematic, or by categories of candidates, or mixed,» the CEC Chairwoman Nurzhan Shaildabekova told.

She reminded that observers of the OSCE / ODIHR mission, who followed the course of the presidential and parliamentary campaigns, noted as a shortcoming that the debates, instead of disputes, discussions about the ways and methods of each party, which they are going to use to solve problems in the country, turned into interpersonal squabbles.

Free airtime cannot be used to disseminate negative or misleading information about competitors. One must not humiliate opponents by voicing information that discredits their honor and dignity.

Nurzhan Shaildabekova

An innovation for these elections to local councils is the ban on cultural and sports events on the streets and stadiums. It was imposed in order to reduce the influence of financial opportunities on the process of forming the will of a voter.

Drawing of lots for the airtime and order should be held after the registration of the candidates for the mandates. Self-nominated candidates will also be able to take part in the debates.

TECs remind that the registration of parties ends on March 11, candidates in single-seat constituencies participating in the elections to rural councils — on March 22.

Local elections will be held on April 11 at 448 local councils.